34 found
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  1. Defining Digital Authoritarianism.James S. Pearson - 2024 - Philosophy and Technology 37 (2):1-19.
    It is becoming increasingly common for authoritarian regimes to leverage digital technologies to surveil, repress and manipulate their citizens. Experts typically refer to this practice as digital authoritarianism (DA). Existing definitions of DA consistently presuppose a politically repressive agent intentionally exploiting digital technologies to pursue authoritarian ends. I refer to this as the intention-based definition. This paper argues that this definition is untenable as a general description of DA. I begin by illustrating the current predominance of the intention-based definition (Section (...)
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  2.  97
    Nietzsche on the necessity of repression.James S. Pearson - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (1):1-30.
    It has become orthodox to read Nietzsche as proposing the ‘sublimation’ of troublesome behavioural impulses. On this interpretation, he is said to denigrate the elimination of our impulses, preferring that we master them by pressing them into the service of our higher goals. My thesis is that this reading of Nietzsche’s conception of self-cultivation does not bear scrutiny. Closer examination of his later thought reveals numerous texts that show him explicitly recommending an eliminatory approach to self-cultivation. I invoke his theory (...)
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  3.  23
    Objectivity Socialized.James Pearson - 2022 - In Sean Morris (ed.), The Philosophical Project of Carnap and Quine. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. pp. 92-113.
    Do Quine and Carnap distort the social nature of inquiry by privileging individual epistemic subjects? This objection is at the heart of Donald Davidson’s claim that Quine fails to grasp the significance of the concept of truth. In Carnap’s case, the objection may be detected in Charles Morris’s call to ground scientific philosophy in semiotics, the science of signs, rather than syntax, the formal investigation of languages. Drawing out the challenge from Morris’s proposal requires examining a neglected influence on this (...)
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  4.  36
    Subjectivity and the Politics of Self-Cultivation: A Comparative Study of Fichte and Nietzsche.James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Nietzsche Studien.
    At first glance, Fichte and Nietzsche may strike us as intellectual contraries. For example, Fichte’s belief in historical progress and universal moral law appears to be diametrically opposed to Nietzsche’s searching critique of Enlightenment optimism. This impression is reinforced by Nietzsche’s disparaging remarks about Fichte. What is more, from the dearth of critical literature comparing the two thinkers, one might be tempted to conclude that they are broadly irrelevant to one another. In this paper, however, I argue that their theories (...)
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  5. Carnap, Explication, and Social History.James Pearson - 2017 - Social Theory and Practice 43 (4):741-774.
    A. W. Carus champions Rudolf Carnap’s ideal of explication as a model for liberal political deliberation. Constructing a linguistic framework for discussing social problems, he argues, promotes the resolution of our disputes. To flesh out and assess this proposal, I examine debate about the social institutions of marriage and adoption. Against Carus, I argue that not all citizens would accept the pragmatic principles underlying Carnap’s ideal. Nevertheless, explication may facilitate inquiry in the social sciences and be used to create models (...)
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  6. Unity in Strife: Nietzsche, Heraclitus and Schopenhauer.James Pearson - 2018 - In James S. Pearson & Herman Siemens (eds.), Conflict and Contest in Nietzsche's Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: Bloomsbury. pp. 44–69.
  7. Realism in the ethics of immigration.James S. Pearson - 2023 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 49 (8):950-974.
    The ethics of immigration is currently marked by a division between realists and idealists. The idealists generally focus on formulating morally ideal immigration policies. The realists, however, tend to dismiss these ideals as far-fetched and infeasible. In contrast to the idealists, the realists seek to resolve pressing practical issues relating to immigration, principally by advancing what they consider to be actionable policy recommendations. In this article, I take issue with this conception of realism. I begin by surveying the way in (...)
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  8.  92
    Nietzsche on the Sources of Agonal Moderation.James Pearson - 2018 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49 (1):102-129.
    I do not recommend peace to you, but victory instead. Your work shall be a struggle, your peace shall be a victory!As can be seen from the epigraph, Nietzsche famously entreats his readers to pursue a life of struggle and victory as opposed to one of peace. This is not a singular occurrence. For instance, in a notebook entry of the same period, he calls for an "unleashing of struggle [Kampf]" with the objective of instigating sociocultural rejuvenation, thereby echoing many (...)
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  9. Could a Heptapod Act? Language and Agency in Arrival.James Pearson - 2019 - Film and Philosophy 23:48-68.
    Arrival offers a useful thought experiment in the philosophy of mind and language. Assessing human linguists' interpretive efforts to understand the alien heptapod form of life in both the movie and the novella from which it was adapted (Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”) teach us how our understanding of selfhood shapes our conception of agency. Arrival’s reflexive commentary on the cinematic experience is also an argument for the value of learning to communicate in cinematic language.
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  10.  96
    United we stand, divided we fall: the early Nietzsche on the struggle for organisation.James S. Pearson - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):508-533.
    ABSTRACTAccording to Nietzsche, both modern individuals and societies are pathologically fragmented. In this paper, I examine how he proposes we combat this affliction in his Untimely Meditations. I argue that he advocates a dual struggle involving both instrumental domination and eradication. On these grounds, I claim the following: 1. pace a growing number of commentators, we cannot categorise the species of conflict he endorses in the Untimely Meditations as agonistic; and 2. this conflict is better understood as analogous to the (...)
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  11. Warding off the Evil Eye: Peer Envy in Rawls’s Just Society.James S. Pearson - 2024 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 106 (2):350-369.
    This article critically analyzes Rawls’s attitude toward envy. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls is predominantly concerned with the threat that class envy poses to political stability. Yet he also briefly discusses the kind of envy that individuals experience toward their social peers, which he calls particular envy, and which I refer to as peer envy. He quickly concludes, however, that particular envy would not present a serious risk to the stability of his just society. In this article, I contest (...)
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  12. Writing Conversationalists into History.James Pearson - 2022 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 10 (6).
    Burton Dreben taught a generation of scholars the value of closely attending to the recent philosophical past. But the few papers he authored do little to capture his philosophical voice. In this article, I turn instead to an unpublished transcript of Dreben in conversation with his contemporaries. In addition to yielding insights into a transitional period in W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s thought, I argue that this document showcases Dreben in his element, revealing the way that he shaped the views (...)
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  13.  95
    The Value of Malevolent Creativity.James S. Pearson - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (1):127-144.
    Until recently, theorists of creativity have consistently maintained that two necessary conditions must be satisfied in order for us to legitimately ascribe creativity to a given phenomenon: a) that it exhibit novelty, and b) that it possess value. However, researchers investigating malevolent forms of creativity have claimed that the value condition is problematic insofar as we often ascribe creativity to products that are of entirely negative value for us. This has given rise to a number of modified conceptions of the (...)
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  14.  23
    What Welby Wanted.James Pearson - 2022 - In Jeanne Peijnenburg & Sander Verhaegh (eds.), Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 23-43.
    Although the significs movement that Victoria, Lady Welby (1837–1912) inspired was dedicated to better understanding meaning, she has largely been forgotten by analytic philosophers of language. Significs was to educate “the great world of hearers and the growing world of readers” to better interpret science and philosophy, evincing a focus on the audience for intellectual activity that it remains vital for academics to consider. Her arguments that the metaphorical associations of terminology are part of their significance for others also pertain (...)
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  15.  67
    Language, Subjectivity and the Agon: A Comparative Study of Nietzsche and Lyotard.James S. Pearson - 2015 - Logoi 1 (3):76-101.
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  16. Wittgenstein and the Utility of Disagreement.James Pearson - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):1-31.
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  17.  85
    Distinguishing WV Quine and Donald Davidson.James Pearson - 2011 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (1):1-22.
    Given W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s extensive agreement about much of the philosophy of language and mind, and the obvious methodological parallels between Quine’s radical translation and Davidson’s radical interpretation, many—including Quine and Davidson—are puzzled by their occasional disagreements. I argue for the importance of attending to these disagreements, not just because doing so deepens our understanding of these influential thinkers, but because they are in fact the shadows thrown from two distinct conceptions of philosophical inquiry: Quine’s “naturalism” and what (...)
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  18.  17
    Caring for Quine's Don't Cares.James Pearson - 2017 - The Monist 100 (2):266-287.
    In Word and Object, W.V. Quine dismisses connotations that result from the work of explicating expressions as “don’t-cares.” This paper traces the history of this phrase to an algorithm that Quine developed in the 1950s, which became important in early computer engineering. Computer programmers eventually came to realize that it was in their best interests to abandon the “don’t-care” attitude. Similarly, I argue that naturalists who properly appreciate the communal nature of their inquiries have reason to adopt a more careful (...)
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  19.  13
    Interpreting Disturbed Minds: Donald Davidson and The White Ribbon.James J. Pearson - 2012 - Film-Philosophy 16 (1):1-15.
    Thomas Elsaesser claims the late Haneke as a director of ‘mind-game’ films, but his diagnosis of the appeal of such films fails to account for The White Ribbon . In this paper, I draw on the theory of radical interpretation developed by American philosopher Donald Davidson to uncover the film’s power. I argue that the focus on charity in Davidson’s account of the conditions under which an interpreter is able to find a foreign community intelligible illuminates the exquisite discomfort the (...)
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  20.  20
    Asking Students What Philosophers Teach.James Pearson - 2013 - Teaching Philosophy 36 (1):31-49.
    This essay argues for the value of teaching a unit that questions what it is that philosophers teach as a way of encouraging students to reflect on the nature of philosophy. I show how using ancient philosophy to frame this unit makes it especially urgent, since an important (and often overlooked) consequence of Socrates’s demarcation of philosophy from oratory is that philosophers are not in a position to teach anything. I have found that students are eager to engage the challenge (...)
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  21.  15
    Conflict and Contest in Nietzsche's Philosophy.James S. Pearson & Herman Siemens - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Bloomsbury.
    While Nietzsche's works and ideas are relevant across the many branches of philosophy, the themes of contest and conflict have been mostly overlooked. Conflict and Contest in Nietzsche's Philosophy redresses this situation, arguing for the importance of these issues throughout Nietzsche's work. The volume has three key lines of inquiry: Nietzsche's ontology of conflict; Nietzsche's conception of the agon; and Nietzsche's warrior-philosophy. Under these three umbrellas is a collection of insightful and provocative essays considering, among other topics, Nietzsche's understanding of (...)
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  22. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Conflict and the Logic of Organisational Struggle.James S. Pearson - 2018 - Dissertation,
  23.  12
    On Catharsis, Conflict and the Coherence of Nietzsche’s Agonism.James Pearson - 2016 - Nietzsche Studien 45 (1):3-32.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Nietzsche-Studien Jahrgang: 45 Heft: 1 Seiten: 3-32.
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  24.  5
    Total Narcissism and the Uncanny: A New Interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's “The Sandman”.James Pearson - 2013 - Angelaki 18 (2):17 - 27.
    This article disputes Freud's reading of “The Sandman,” in which he seeks to explain the text's uncanniness primarily with reference to his theory of the castration complex. Rather than abandon Freud altogether, however, I demonstrate how the uncanny effects of Hoffmann's tale are best understood with reference to Freud's concept of “total narcissism.” Specifically, I argue that the ambiguities surrounding this notion are profoundly interwoven with the uncanniness of “The Sandman's” “doubles.” Finally, using these analyses as a foundation, I present (...)
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  25.  11
    Gilbert Harman and Ernie Lepore, eds. A Companion to W.V.O. Quine. [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2016 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 (2).
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  26.  21
    James McElvenny. Language and Meaning in the Age of Modernism: C. K. Ogden and His Contemporaries. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Pp. 200. $110.00. [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):193-198.
  27.  6
    Review of Matt LaVine, Race, Gender, and the History of Early Analytic Philosophy. [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2022 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 10 (2).
  28.  4
    Review of the book Disagreement by Brian Frances. [REVIEW]James Pearson - unknown
    Review of the book Disagreement by Bryan Frances. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014.
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  29.  8
    Review of William Demopoulos "Logicism and Its Philosophical Legacy". [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:online.
  30.  7
    Disagreement by Bryan Frances. [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (1):357-359.
    Attention to the question of whether testimony is a distinctive source of knowledge is a comparatively recent development in Western epistemology. Does being told that p constitute reason for you to believe that p, independently of what you empirically establish about the speaker’s reliability, sincerity, and evaluative position? Still more recently — in just the last decade — Western epistemologists have become occupied with related problems concerning disagreement. What is the rational response, for instance, to discovering that an epistemic peer (...)
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  31.  6
    Nietzsche on Instinct and Language ed. by João Constâncio and Maria João Mayer Branco (review). [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2013 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 44 (1):115-117.
    Nietzsche’s critique of the will to truth, and, more specifically, the metaphysical tradition, is inextricable from both his philosophy of language and his turn to physiology. Though the way in which Nietzsche conceived of the intertwinement of language, reason, and the body developed through the course of his philosophical maturation, it is nonetheless a recurrent motif spanning the breadth of his oeuvre. As the editors state in their introduction to Nietzsche on Instinct and Language (NIL), the volume aims at being (...)
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  32.  6
    Review of Benjamin Schnieder and Moritz Schulz "Themes From Early Analytic Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Kunne". [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  33.  16
    Review of Sandra Lapointe (Ed) "Logic from Kant to Russell: Laying the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy". [REVIEW]James Pearson - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  34.  11
    Book Review: The body in Spinoza and Nietzsche by Razvan Ioan, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 251 pp., 53.49€ (paper back), ISBN: 978-3-030-20987-2. [REVIEW]James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Global Intellectual History.